The Unflattering IntroPosted: December 4, 2015
So here are the first 726 words of my NaNoWriMo novel. The actual beginning part, not the first 726 words I wrote. It was about four thousand words in from where I started on November 1. This is quite possibly the most awkwardly written part of the whole mess. I’m not sure if most of it is even worth saving; I may scrap the whole thing, except a few sentences, and start over. What bits do you think should stay?
I was already in motion when I came back to myself; running fast, as hard as I could. I slowed down as much as I dared, but there were others running on all sides of me. I had to find out what we were running from. But ‘back to myself’ implies that I was coming from somewhere, headed somewhere, headed to where I am now; as far as I knew, I had come from nowhere. I had no past. But I didn’t have time to spare for more than a passing thought or two in this direction. I had more pressing issues at the moment.
I ran; I ran because that’s what I had been doing for my entire four seconds of existence. I ran without knowing where or why, without even asking those questions. I ran because I felt danger coming for me.
I slowed enough to turn my head and look behind me without falling flat on my face on the ground. What I saw blew my mind. Even now, telling you about it, so much time has passed, but still…I don’t know what to make of it.
It would probably be easier for you to understand the beginning of this story if I had some kind of back story to give you. Fuck, it would be easier to tell if I had some kind of back story to give myself, but I don’t have anything. I can tell you what I wore.
My shorts were the first thing are the first thing that comes to mind when I think about my clothing that day. I guess you could even call it my birthday. Yes. I like the sound of that. One hell of a party! And in a twisted sort of way, absolutely true.
My shorts were cotton, woven cotton, olive drab, maybe olive green. Kind of in between the two colors, not that there’s much difference between olive green and good old olive drab. They were super soft from many wears and many washes, the most comfortable shorts I have ever owned. I mean, that I know about, of course. I could have had the world’s largest collection of comfortable shorts before my birthday for all I know, because I know nothing about anything before then.
Have I gotten that point across? I know nothing about my past. I have read baby name books, trying and trying to find some name that rang a bell, and nothing ever does. Nothing seems like my name before, nothing seems like the name of anyone I know. I don’t know my parents’ names, I don’t know if I have any brothers or sisters or what their names are if I do have them. I don’t know my grandparents. I don’t know my aunts and uncles. I don’t know if I have any cousins. I don’t know how many friends I had, if I had any, because I don’t know their names either. I don’t remember my third grade teacher, or the neighbor who always yelled at me for kicking my ball into the fence. I don’t have a real childhood, because I don’t have any of that. And it isn’t fair. I hate that I don’t have any of this. I hate that I can tie my shoes but I don’t know who taught me. I have that I can read and write but I don’t remember a single spelling test. I don’t even remember school at all. Did I graduate high school? Do I have a doctorate degree? Am I a middle school dropout? I don’t know.
And I can’t even guess at a way to find out. I did remember, briefly, in a flash of memory, but that disappeared as quickly as it came.
But at least I can tell you about these shorts. Can you visualize the color yet? Olive green. Olive drab. Mix em up and there you go, the color of my shorts. I have to admit, thought, they were a little bit shorter than I would have expected myself to be comfortable with. I showed a little too much skin, if you get my drift. But it was okay in those shorts. Everything was okay.
Including the fact that I was running with a good thirty other people, none of whom I recognized, as fast as we all could.